Occasional nightmares are considered to be a normal part of life, but when dreams resulting in extreme terror or anxiety recur often they can become a debilitating. If you continue to suffer from nightmares after reducing stress, making healthy choices, and practicing coping skills the Nightmare Protocol (in combination with other evidenced based practice) is an effective choice to successfully reduce and often eliminate nightmares.
Instructions For Nightmare Protocol
Step 1. Practice relaxation techniques each night before you go to bed.
Step 2. Choose a recurring nightmare you would like to work on. This will be your target nightmare.
Step 3. Choose a changed ending for the nightmare. The change should occur BEFORE anything traumatic or bad happens to you or others in the nightmare. Essentially, you want to come up with a change that will prevent the bad outcome of the usual nightmare from occurring.
Note. The more unusual and out-of-the-ordinary the change is, the more effective this protocol may be. For example, you might become a person with superhuman powers (e.g., invisibility, ability to fly) who is able to escape to safety or fight off attackers.
Step 4. Write down the full nightmare with the change.
Step 5. REHEARSAL + RELAXATIONS: Practice rehearsal of the changed nightmare by visualizing the entire dream with the change each night before practicing relaxation techniques.
Step 6. Visualize the entire dream with the change, and practice relaxation, as often as possible during the day.